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Morning links: Independence for BYU not sustainable, says Mendenhall; Utah's Williams a top transfer QB

University of Virginia head football coach Bronco Mendenhall, who left the same post at BYU in December, reiterated his belief during a radio appearance that the Cougars would be better off in a conference.

A guest on SiriusXM College Sports on Monday, Mendenhall said he feels that independent status is not a viable plan for BYU in the longterm.

"I think BYU football has amazing tradition, an amazing resume of wins and just support and quality play, but after being the head coach at BYU, I don't think independence is sustainable," he said.

Mendenhall went on to list reasons why conferences might be apprehensive about adding the Cougars, but concluded that, "I think they are overcomeable, and I think BYU is worth being in a Power 5 conference. I also think they have to be for their program to be sustainable in terms of resources to compete at the level they'd like to."

Utah's Troy Williams one of the Top 10 JUCO transfer QBs in the country

There will be some uncertainty and lack of experience at the quarterback position for the Utah Utes this spring after the graduation of Travis Wilson, but one publication expressed confidence in Wilson's potential replacement.

In a list by Athlon Sports' Steve Lassan of the Top 10 junior college transfer quarterbacks in the country, Utah newcomer Troy Williams appears.

After describing how Williams began his collegiate career at Washington before going to Santa Monica College, Lassan writes, "Williams is the No. 40 junior college recruit in the 2016 247Sports Composite and should be the frontrunner to start for Utah this fall."

Utah Olympic qualifier Jared Ward appears in New York Times

On Saturday, Beehive State native Jared Ward punched his ticket to the 2016 Summer Olympic Games by placing third at the U.S. Olympic marathon trials.

On Monday, he appeared in the New York Times.

A story by Lindsay Crouse features the six Americans who will compete in the marathon in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, and although Ward received the briefest mention of the group, Crouse notes that the BYU graduate wrote his master's thesis on, fittingly, “optimal pace strategy in a marathon."

Ryan McDonald is a sports reporter at DeseretNews.com. Follow him on Twitter @ryanwmcdonald.